Deeper Than Skin
"Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine." Song of Songs 1:2 I’ll never forget the first time I saw my wife Erica drive onto our college campus. It was fall semester of our sophomore year. She was the most breathtaking woman I had ever seen. Dove like eyes, scarlet lips, rosy pomegranate cheeks, not to mention her royal blue Geo Storm, the most desired ride of the 90’s. The moment was almost too much to handle. I wasn’t too shabby myself, the new transfer student from surf town San Diego. Arms rounded like bars of gold, legs like marble pillars, hair wild and blonde, falling down to my shoulders in waves, like a flock of goats winding down mountain slopes. I saw her. She saw me. Pretty much that slow-motion moment where time stands still and you find yourself caught up in love’s irresistible magnetic pull. Hearts pounding. A glance. A spark. A jolt. And this is where it all begins.
God created us for physical attraction.
In Solomon’s poem Song of Songs, the young woman says, “Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine.” She is lovesick in her attraction for this man. Unashamed of her emotions and feelings, she shouts boldly her desire for this man’s love. And of all the words she could use, she chooses the Hebrew word used to express a sexual love. More than simply a light-hearted crush on this guy, she wants to jump Solomon’s bones. She is both physically and sexually attracted to her Song of Songs man and wastes no time making her desire known. As humans, we are created to be both Spiritual and Sexual, and in reality, it’s impossible to separate the two. In fact, the Hebrew language offers no word for Spiritual, because in the Jewish understanding, all of life is spiritual. Love, sex, and bodies; you name it. To be sexual is to be spiritual, and to be spiritual is to be sexual. Though our culture has tragically ripped the sex out of Spirit and the Spirit out of sex, God created us to be both. Each one of us is born to burn with a strong faith and a strong sex drive all at the same time. In fact, sexual attraction is a good gift from God. He is meant to capture your eyes. She is meant to take your breath away.
Physical attraction is enough to spark any potential relationship, yet for love to fully blossom into everything God has designed it to be, there must be more.
Although skin and hair and bodies make us sexy-on-the-outside, a shallow understanding of beauty cannot produce a deep and fulfilling love. Perhaps there’s more to life than being ridiculously good-looking. I’ve heard it said, “As you grow older, you lose hair where you want hair and you get hair where you don’t want hair.” It’s only a matter of time. As Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” Another way to translate the word vain is brief. What Solomon is saying is, skin-deep romance is short-lived, brief. Maybe you’ve already experienced this kind of Shallow Hal relationship. The ‘buzzed at the party’ make out session. The freshmen year fling. The one night stand with that one guy. Burning flames through the night, empty fire pit in the morning. Although today’s “skin deep” culture celebrates such a brief view of beauty, you cannot build a lasting and lifelong commitment on physical and sexual attraction alone. To experience the fullness of joy and freedom God desires for us to experience in a relationship, we must learn to see and love deeper than skin.